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  • Writer's pictureChris Russell

S4 - E20 - My Game, My Rules!





Hello my survivor friends!  Open the bunker doors and windows and let some fresh air in because the isotropic decay is only a problem for those who have not yet mutated and the place smells like mushrooms.

And that is an example of my brain just making up words and stringing them together in a plausible sequence. 

Anyhoo – we are here at the end of season 4 episode 20 and it is a ground-breaking episode!

For several reasons:

First, it was delayed by a week as I tried to wrap my head around how to make it work, and find the time to execute.   

Second, it is not the last episode of season 4.  When I finally managed to pound out a draft I realized that I was trying to do too much.  I got to 5,000 words and had a decision to make.  (for reference, the rule of thumb for our chapters / episodes is 2500-3,000 words) 

My decision point was a) keep writing and just publish a giant, honking episode 20, b) grab a machete and try to trim it back, or c) split it into 2 episodes. 

The decision was made, and I’m happy with it, to make an episode 21 for this season.  Which for you clinically ADHD people may pose a conundrum, but for those you can call it 20a and 20b, and that should sort your brain out. 

And for the majority of you, who are time-travelers bingeing through this in the future you can just keep on walking – nothing to see here.

Like I said last episode I really, really, really like to be predictable with the publishing schedule.  Partly because I think setting expectations and boundaries are important in any relationship, and partly because it forces me to keep up. 

I listen to other audio drama podcasts and I have noticed these frustrating behaviors with other producers:

1.       Podfading – yes for some inexplicable reason they just stop producing episodes.  You form a relationship with the characters, you are caught up in the story, and it just stops.  Hate that.

That’s why, from the start, I committed to 5 seasons of at least 20 episodes.  Love it or hate it, I’m going to give you a beginning a middle and an end.

2.       Big delays between episodes.  Usually I’m binge listening to an audio drama and am not impacted by delays in production and publishing, but I know there are times when you get really caught up in the story and the creator has a bad case of podcastus-interuptus, making you wait.  A little waiting can add to the suspense, but too much of a gap and we lose the thread.

3.       The ginormous final episode of the season.  This is when the creator paints themselves into the corner with too many characters and storylines and it takes a big, bloated last episode to kinda-sorta tie up the loose ends  (which is where I found myself last week)

Again, love it or hate it, I think episode length is part of the contract with the audience, and if I’m all over the place your experience suffers.

All of this to explain why you are getting and episode 20 this week and episode 21 next and that will be the end of season 4. 

And the lesson for me, because there is always a lesson if you look hard enough, is that it’s ok to learn and grow.  It ok to not know everything.  It’s ok to be curious.  It’s ok to try and fail and then try something else. 

That’s how we grow.  That’s where the good stuff is. 

Phew!

If you like our work and you want to add more guilt to the chance of me missing an a episode drop you can support me monetarily through Patreon, subscribe on Acast or buy me a coffee, or leave a chest full of pirate treasure on my back steps. 

We are at 470 members in our Facebook group, if you’re on Facebook come over and join. 

I do have a movie recommendation for you this week. 




It is “The Station Agent” from 2003 by Tom McCarthy in his directorial debut and starring Peter Dinklage.  This was streaming for free on one of the 9-trillion streaming services that crowd my T.V. home screen like overcaffeinated gremlins. 

This is a sweet, quirky little film about humans, and trains and the dynamic tension between our desire for solitude and our needs for community. 

Dinklage does an amazing, understated job here. This was before he hit it big in Game of Thrones. He’s a marvelous actor.  All the acting is great.  I wouldn’t say it’s overtly a comedy but there were some laugh-out-loud moments for me.

The lesson, Because…repeat after me… “there is always a lesson,” is that in our modern world of being assaulted by noise, and commotion, and special effects explosions it is quite refreshing to watch a sweet little film about humans and trains. 

The links to everything I have talked about here are in the show notes and posted on our website at oldmanapocalypse.com

Keep your train schedules updated and I will see you out there (or at least I’ll see you next episode- #21).

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